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How To Uninstall OpenCV 4.2.0 and Libraries on Ubuntu 20.04

Ubuntu 11

In this detailed guide, we will walk you through the process of uninstalling OpenCV 4.2.0 and its associated libraries from Ubuntu 20.04. OpenCV, or Open Source Computer Vision, is a library of programming functions primarily aimed at real-time computer vision. It’s a critical tool for many developers, but there may be instances where you need to uninstall or downgrade to a different version.


Before proceeding, ensure you have administrative access to your Ubuntu machine and a basic understanding of Ubuntu’s command-line interface.

Step 1: Update Package Manager Database

Firstly, we need to update our package manager’s database to ensure we’re working with the most recent package lists. Open your terminal and run the following command:

sudo apt update

The sudo command allows you to run the command as a superuser, while apt update updates the package lists for upgrades and new package installations.

Step 2: Uninstall OpenCV and Related Libraries

Now we can proceed to uninstall OpenCV and its related libraries. In your terminal, execute the following commands:

sudo apt remove libopencv-dev python3-opencv
sudo apt remove libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libtiff-dev

The apt remove command is used to remove packages from your system. The packages libopencv-dev and python3-opencv are directly related to OpenCV, while libjpeg-dev, libpng-dev, and libtiff-dev are image libraries that OpenCV depends on.

Step 3: Purge Configuration Files

If you want to remove the configuration files as well, you can use the purge command instead of remove. This will remove the packages and any configuration files associated with them. Run the following command:

sudo apt purge libopencv-dev python3-opencv

Step 4: Remove Orphaned Packages

After uninstalling the packages, there might be some orphaned packages left on your system. These are packages that were installed as dependencies but are not needed any longer. To remove these, execute:

sudo apt autoremove

Step 5: Uninstall OpenCV Using Pip

If you installed OpenCV using pip, you can uninstall it using the following command:

pip uninstall opencv-python

The pip uninstall command is used to uninstall packages installed via pip, Python’s package installer.

Step 6: Install a Specific Version of OpenCV

If you need to install a specific version of OpenCV, you can do so using pip. For example, to install OpenCV, you would run:

pip install opencv-python==

This command tells pip to install the specific version of OpenCV that you specify.


By following these steps, you should have successfully uninstalled OpenCV 4.2.0 and its libraries from your Ubuntu 20.04 system. Remember to always understand each command before running it, and read and understand the output before agreeing to any changes. If you have any questions or run into any issues, don’t hesitate to consult the OpenCV documentation or seek help from the community.

Can I uninstall OpenCV 4.2.0 and its libraries without affecting other programs on my Ubuntu 20.04 system?

Yes, uninstalling OpenCV 4.2.0 and its libraries will not affect other programs on your Ubuntu 20.04 system. The uninstallation process specifically targets OpenCV and its related libraries, leaving other programs untouched.

What happens if I don’t update the package manager’s database before uninstalling OpenCV?

It is recommended to update the package manager’s database before uninstalling OpenCV to ensure you have the most recent package lists. However, if you skip this step, the uninstallation process should still work. The package manager will use the existing package lists to locate and remove the specified packages.

Can I reinstall OpenCV after uninstalling it?

Yes, you can reinstall OpenCV after uninstalling it. Simply follow the installation instructions specific to the version you want to install. Keep in mind that you may need to reconfigure any settings or dependencies that were previously in place.

Will uninstalling OpenCV remove any existing projects or code that I have developed using OpenCV?

No, uninstalling OpenCV will not remove any existing projects or code that you have developed using OpenCV. Uninstalling OpenCV only removes the library and its related files from your system. Your projects and code will remain intact unless you specifically delete them.

Can I downgrade to a previous version of OpenCV using these uninstallation steps?

No, these uninstallation steps do not include downgrading to a previous version of OpenCV. They only cover the removal of the current version. If you want to downgrade to a previous version, you will need to manually install that specific version after uninstalling the current one.

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